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Enchilada salsa with zucchini

Updated on September 3, 2015

Spicy or mild enchiladas

Good recipe to use leftover chicken or turkey. Or, use all white meat.
Good recipe to use leftover chicken or turkey. Or, use all white meat. | Source

Too much zucchini?

Enchilada Sauce with Zucchini

Not the traditional enchilada sauce. Add it to the filling of chicken enchiladas.Top enchilada casseroles, tostadas, meatloaf. Consider this as your secret recipe ingredient, adding layers of flavor to any dish.

• Add a jar of this sauce to your tortilla soup recipe, stir it into chili or boost flavor and texture tomato soup.

If you use young tender zucchini, no need to peel them. If tougher zucchini is used, peel and seed before grating.

Kids will never know that there is zucchini in this sauce. It's mild flavor is masked by the spices, herbs and tomatoes.

This recipe can easily be doubled. Once you taste this all-purpose Mexican sauce, you will wish you made more.


  • 10 cups zucchini, peeled shredded, grated
  • 4 onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar, white
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt, (day 1)
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling salt, (day 2)
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 5 cups (about 2 ½ pounds) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cans, 6 ounces each tomato paste

Preparation time

Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 24 hours 15 min
Yields: 6 to 8 pint jars

Label all jars

This sauce is a great addition to many tomato based recipes.This thick sauce is great on eggs, baked chicken or in quiche.
This sauce is a great addition to many tomato based recipes.This thick sauce is great on eggs, baked chicken or in quiche. | Source

Canning Instructions

  1. Day one: In a large bowl combine; Zucchini, onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and the 1/4 cup salt. Mix together cover and let stand overnight in the fridge.
  2. Day two: Rinse well and drain. Put into a large pot then add mustard, garlic, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, 1 T. salt, jalapeno, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  3. Add tomato paste, one can at a time. Add the second can of tomato paste only if you like thicker salsa. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle into sterilized pint jars filling to 1/2" headspace, remove air bubbles, wipe rims, add hot lids and rings. Boiling water bath jars for 15 minutes at a full boil.

Like this recipe?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Enchilada Salsa

Sauce variations

Add tomato juice to thin enchilada sauce for dipping.
Add tomato juice to thin enchilada sauce for dipping. | Source

Salsa fresca

In America, salsa is usually thought of as a tomato based condiment. The word “salsa” means “sauce” in Spanish.

The recipe above is an original recipe adapted from sever different varieties on the web. Enchilada Sauce with Zucchini is a very thick sauce and milder than most authentic salsas. My intention was to use this sauce in the filling and to top chicken enchiladas.

Because I wanted to use it inside the enchilada, it was a natural to add extra veggies, hence the onion and zucchini. They serve as filling, reducing the amount of chicken needed in each enchilada. Plus they add an extra dose of Mexican flavor mixed with the herbs and spices.

Another favorite salsa is salsa fresca or “fresh sauce” it is sometimes called Pico de gallo meaning "rooster's beak" which is made and served fresh. All ingredients are raw, fresh and, rough chopped. Ingredients include: tomatoes, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, onions and fresh cilantro leaves.

Salsa fresca (fresh) is usually prepared the day it is served. It is chef's choice just how much pepper is added. Most often the more traditional the home or restaurant is, the hotter it the salsa fresca tends to be.

This chicken enchilada recipe will have two salsas. Enchilada Sauce with Zucchini will be inside and Pico de gallo on the outside to garnish and add a fresh made look and flavor.

Stuff tortillas with chicken and cheese

Homemade enchiladas. Add this recipe to chicken or pork filling in enchilada recipes.
Homemade enchiladas. Add this recipe to chicken or pork filling in enchilada recipes. | Source

A Make It Your Own Recipe*

This recipe is adapted from several similar recipes on the web. My version of zucchini enchilada sauce was created when the vegetable garden erupted in ripe tomatoes and three kinds of zucchini one hot August day.

Having this sauce in the pantry means I can create several quick to fix meals from pantry staples and maybe a little meat. Enchiladas are a fast dinner idea because all of the ingredients are pre cooked. Once you roll all the filled tortillas, it's really just a matter of heating the dish through.

Keep a block of cheese and some tortillas in the fridge and dinner will be just minutes away.

Make it your own best go-to recipe, by adding a secret or special ingredient. For instance, add mushrooms or, a few cherry tomato halves, or maybe some sour cream and fresh chopped chilantro.

Claim shrimp enchiladas as your specialty. Using pepper-jack cheese may make this your signature dish. Enchiladas made with zucchini enchilada sauce and grilled fajita vegetables is a great meatless meal.

Now, my family is reaping the rewards of our bountiful summer harvest. There is not a lot that you can do to preserve summer squash. This sauce adds more veggies into an already beloved recipe.

*A Make It Your Own Recipe starts with a basic recipe. Customize that basic recipe with your special touches. The recipe becomes your specialty, possibly with your own secret ingredients.

Roll warm flour tortillas

Warming tortillas makes them flexible and easy to roll.
Warming tortillas makes them flexible and easy to roll. | Source

Baked chicken enchiladas

Prep time 15, Cook time 30 min

MAKES: 4 servings


1 pint of Enchilada Sauce with Zucchini

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, divided

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar

8 flour tortillas, 8”


  1. Using a large mixing bowl, add chicken, ½ of enchilada sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, and ¾ cup cheddar cheese, half of the chopped green chilies.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

  3. Warm each tortilla in skillet for 15 seconds and turn over. Warm the other side for 15 seconds, remove tortilla to a flat work surface.

  4. Add about ½ cup of chicken filling onto each tortilla and roll up.

  5. Place seam side down in a greased (or foil lined) 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

  6. Repeat with each tortilla.

  7. Stir remaining chilies into sauce. Spread sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.

  8. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

  9. Yield: 4 servings of two enchiladas. Garnish with sour cream and chopped cilantro (optional)

Recipe may be doubled. Make second recipe in a foil pan. Do not top with cheese. Cover. Freeze. When ready to serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake, covered at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melty and enchiladas are warmed through.

Tip: Use foil pans, or line the baking dish with foil. Your dishwasher will thank you.


Submit a Comment

  • Ilonagarden profile image

    Ilona E 2 years ago from Ohio

    Love healthy ideas like that!

  • Patsybell profile image

    Patsy Bell Hobson 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Ilonagarden, Thank you. I've had a good year for zucchini and just made more today. No one will guess that zucchini is in the enchilada sauce.

  • Ilonagarden profile image

    Ilona E 2 years ago from Ohio

    I am now officially hungry for some of these enchiladas! Great job on a really delicious looking recipe hub.

  • Patsybell profile image

    Patsy Bell Hobson 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Thank you for your kind words. I love having a new friend in Ontario. (I have family in Sarnia.) I like seeing writers support writers. It makes us all better writers.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Sounds delicious! Pinning, sharing and voting up. The Pinterest button doesn't seem to be working right now, but I'll be back to try again tomorrow.